Molecular weight fractionation by confinement of polymer in one-dimensional pillararene channels
Tummanapelli, Anil Kumar
Date of Issue2019
School of Physical and Mathematical Sciences
Confinement of polymers in nano-spaces can induce unique molecular dynamics and properties. Here we show molecular weight fractionation by the confinement of single polymer chains of poly(ethylene oxide) (PEO) in the one-dimensional (1D) channels of crystalline pillararene. Pillararene crystals are activated by heating under reduced pressure. The activated crystals are immersed in melted PEO, causing the crystals to selectively take up PEO with high mass fraction. The high mass fractionation is caused by the greater number of attractive CH/π interactions between PEO C-H groups and the π-electron-rich 1D channel of the pillararene with increasing PEO chain length. The molecular motion of the confined PEO (PEO chain thickness of ~3.7 Å) in the 1D channel of pillararenes (diameter of ~4.7 Å) is highly restricted compared with that of neat PEO.
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